You're not the only holiday enthusiast who may occasionally struggle to come up with Christmas gift ideas for some folks.
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Here's our tutorial and homemade birdseed ornament recipe for making your own DIY Christmas ornaments for the wild birds, which nearly everyone — especially bird lovers — will adore. The best part is that you can make these thoughtful gifts on the cheap. Making adorable birdseed ornaments is an inexpensive holiday craft project the whole family can enjoy on a lazy weekend afternoon. Not only will the kids have a ball making this activity, the resident wild birds will enjoy eating the decorations.
Things You'll Need
4 cups birdseed
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons corn syrup
1 lb lard
Kids, in particular, love making cookie-shaped ornaments. However, the lard in them will melt and fall apart if the temperature in your yard typically rises above freezing. For warmer climates, opt for making the pine cone version.
1. Make paste for your birdseed Christmas ornaments
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, water, corn syrup and gelatin to form a smooth paste.
2. Add the birdseed and mix well
Slowly add the birdseed to the paste and combine until the birdseed is fully coated. Melt 1 pound of lard and add to mixture.
Place the cookie cutters on a parchment paper-lined pan and coat the cookie cutters with cooking spray. Spoon the birdseed mixture into the cookie cutters. Press the mixture down firmly with the back of the spoon to pack the mixture into the cookie cutters as tight as possible.
4. Press a straw into the ornament
Cut the straws into 3-inch segments and press them into the top one-fourth of the birdseed-filled cookie cutter. Make sure the hole goes all the way through the mixture. Leave the straws in the ornament and allow them to dry for three to four hours.
5. Take out the straws and remove the ornaments
Once the birdseed ornaments have dried, take out the straws and carefully remove the ornaments from the cookie cutters. Allow them to harden overnight in the freezer.
6. Add twine and hang
Run a piece of twine through the hole at the top of the birdseed ornament. Hang the completed ornament in a tree for the birds to enjoy.
Pine Cone Birdseed Balls
Kids typically love pine cone crafts, and they'll enjoy making these birdseed ornaments, too. The upside is that you can use them outside without worrying about them falling apart, no matter how warm your weather gets.
1. Gather your materials
Gather pine cones, peanut butter, oatmeal, birdseed, cranberries and evergreen cuttings (optional).
2. Combine oatmeal and peanut butter
Mix 1/4 cup of oatmeal into 1/2 cup of peanut butter.
3. Press the mixture into the pine cones
Press the peanut butter mixture into the pine cones.
4. Roll the pine cones in the birdseed
Roll the pine cones in birdseed, pressing the seeds into the peanut butter mixture.
5. Wrap the pine cone with twine
Wrap twine around the pine cone and tie a knot at the top of a hanging loop.
6. Decorate the birdseed Christmas ornaments
Add peanut butter to the top of the pine cone and top with evergreen cuttings and cranberries.
7. Repeat to make more
Repeat these steps to create pine cone birdseed Christmas ornaments for your own yard, and maybe even as gifts for neighbors and friends.
8. Hang the DIY birdseed ornaments
Hang the tiny pine cone bird feeders in tree branches and watch for your feathered friends!